Normally playing junior hockey, you don’t have to wake up at 8am. It’s nice. Get to sleep in and all that. However, for this day breakfast was served at 8:30am so alas, we woke up at a reasonable time. We all headed downstairs draped in Titans’ apparel to the now familiar breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and sausage. Now I can’t say for certain that not everyone that was supposed to be there wasn’t there, but I can say the room seemed a little emptier than the day before. Whether it was a blessing or a curse we sat at our own table this time.We headed back to our rooms after clearing our plates. This time we only had until 10:30am until the bus left for our 12:30pm game. As I had been so unfortunate to wake up at 8am earlier that morning, I decided to go back to bed. Waking up well rested after my alarm buzzed at 10am sharp, I showered up and packed my belongings. We were leaving directly from the rink after our game, so we had to bring all that we had packed.
My heavier than normal Titans duffel bag weighed my right side down. And as I dragged it down the side of the New England Sports Village towards our team van in the back, I began to question my decision of packing a foam roller, a book, a weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, and an extra pair of white sneakers (although rather stylish I might add).
Anyways after that debacle my teammates and I headed to the locker room to prepare for our game against the Selects Blue. Armed with my experience of my prior day’s entombment, I went straight into my routine this time, and had a much better (and less stressful) warmup. We took the ice one more time, and once again our boys did well, as our East Team won 3-1 in a hard-fought game.
After the game the NAHL commissioner, Mark Frakenfeld, congratulated us on a great showing and told us we got to keep the jerseys and added that a replica of our jersey that we signed would be auctioned off. So, feel free to place bids on your favorite Titans players Jersey. It’s green, I bet you don’t have a green Titans jersey, just saying. Note: We also got fancy hats! Very cool.
Sitting in the locker room proud of putting our best foot forward I looked around towards some of the players I had been used to playing against all year. It put a face to some of the names, a character behind the jersey, a person to the player. We all said our goodbyes and packed the bus (collectively this time). As we cruised down highway 95 Cade Penney took the aux and we bumped to his playing of “Crank That” by Soulja Boy. Gazing out the oversized windows of our rented 15-seater van, we took in the surrounding sights and scenery as we headed back home to New Jersey, eager to get back to work and finish the season strong.
SAVE! ❌ How about this glove save from @NAHLTitans goalie Patrick Pugliese? He flashes the leather to help the East Division to a 2-0 record at the 2020 #NAHL #TopProspects Tournament pic.twitter.com/Y5ogBppCgO
— NAHL (@NAHLHockey) February 18, 2020
Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Patrick Pugliese and Yllano Tubilleja for their time and effort for working on this blog. We all hope you gained a better understanding the day of a player and equipment manager.